Disclaimer: NCIS and it's characters are in part owned by me and no profit is made in the writing of this story.
So, I was looking at this website the other day and it had a photo essay called something like 'Imperial Storm troopers are just like you and me' and it was this hilarious collection of photos with people dressed up like Star Wars storm troopers doing ordinary things like mowing the lawn or going grocery shopping, and etc. So that kind of inspired me to write this little story and since I've been wanting to do a 'five things' story for a while, it all just sort of came together. Anyway, this is mostly fluff, but I hope you enjoy it. :)
Five Things that Make Assassins Just Like the Rest of Us
1. They have bad hair days
The ping of the elevator announcing a new arrival caused Tony to look up from his latest copy of GSM Magazine and stash it away hurriedly. Believing that it was Gibbs at first, he was unprepared for what he saw come out of the elevator. His jaw nearly fell to the floor when he saw Ziva come around the corner.
"Do not say a thing." Ziva pointed to him with a deadly stare as she approached and flopped down into her chair, her face a clear mixture of anger and embarrassment.
"What? I wasn't going to say anything." He replied raising his hands innocently with a barely contained snicker, obviously lying though his teeth. He was so loving this and his eyes sparkled in amusement.
"I see that look on your face." She snarled.
"What look?" He was smiling widely now.
"That look." She made a circular motion with her finger still pointing in his direction.
From the corner of his eye, Tony saw McGee approach from the other end of the bullpen and sit down at his desk to power up his computer.
"Hey Ziva." He greeted, looking up for a moment and turning back to his screen before snapping his head up again fast enough to cause whiplash, doing a double take in Ziva's direction.
"Something you want to say to Ziva, McGawker? Something different that you notice about her this morning, perhaps"
McGee gulped and stammered uncomfortably seeing the familiar squint in Ziva's eyes that indicated that someone was about to lose their life at her hands.
"Uh, uh, oh. uh. No. No, nothing at all." McGee shook his head nervously.
"Close your mouth Probie, you're sucking all the oxygen out of the room." Tony ordered.
"You know. I just remembered something I had to...." McGee pointed behind him and got up in a hurry, heading back in the direction he just came from. Most likely heading to Abby's lab to let her in on everything. Tony grinned at his sudden departure and turned back to Ziva, whose face took on a whole new meaning to the world 'malevolent'.
It was then that Gibbs came down the stairs from the Director's office only to stop once he noticed Ziva. A bright smile, one that rarely graced the face of the otherwise cranky and coarse marine was enough to make Tony's day and then some.
"Ziva?" Gibbs asked, pointing to her head.
"If you must know." She began with a defeated sigh, wishing that she had just called in sick like she had been tempted to do. "I thought it would be nice to try something new with my hair and go a little lighter, but my hair stylist left the chemicals on too long. Thankfully, she promised to fix it this afternoon."
"So, that's why your hair is...." Gibbs started.
"Bright orange." Tony finished with a gigantic chuckle. "Can I call you carrot top now?" He asked, no longer able to hold back the laughter as tears formed around his eyes.
"Only if you wish to know what it feels like to have that mighty mouse stapler of yours shoved...."
"Alright...back to work." Gibbs sat at his desk, watching the interaction between his two most experienced agents and smiling to himself, wondered how it was possible for her hairdresser to have survived such a disaster.
2. They lose things
Ziva overturned her couch cushions, growing increasingly frustrated, finding nothing under them. She turned to the drawer in the lamp table, opening it again for the fourth time, but this time dumping the entire contents out onto the surface and going through each item, but still coming up empty.
With a growl she hunted under the couch, the entertainment center and even pulled her upright piano out, hoping that her quarry had simply fallen behind the crack between it and the wall.
She was out of places to look and her place looked as though an atomic bomb had exploded.
They had to be somewhere in the apartment. She had them last night.
She nearly tossed a vase in sheer frustration before a knock sounded at the door.
Jerking the door open, she sighed seeing Tony standing before her threshold.
"You needed a ride?" He asked with a gleeful smile, then looked over her shoulder at her overturned apartment. A little chagrined, She stepped out and shut the door behind her before he could get a better look at the mess.
"Yes." She admitted. "Sorry about you having to drive so far out of your way."
"Hey, no problem. So, What's wrong? Car break down? I could take a look at it. I'm not that bad with engines ya know."
"No, Tony. My car is fine."
"Oh, so it must be something else that is keeping your car from going. Whatever could it be?" He asked with a sly smile tapping his finger to his lower lip as though he was in deep contemplation.
"Alright. If you must know. I cannot find my...."
Tony held up a set of keys, jingling them merrily. The smile on his face nearly occupying every square inch of his devilishly handsome features. He was enjoying every second of her torture and embarrassment, making darn sure that she knew that.
"Looking for these?" he asked.
"How did you....." His smiled grew even further than Ziva thought was possible, only adding to her annoyance and irritation. She would have decked him if it hadn't been for his impossibly gorgeous and boyish charm that she would never admit to being more than just a little bit attracted to.
"Found them." He answered, tossing them to her.
"Where?" She asked.
"Right here in your doorknob."
3. Family members send them ugly sweaters as gifts
"Morning, Ziva." Tony greeted her one cold morning.
"Good morning, Tony." She walked to her desk, but didn't remove her heavy winter coat as she sat down and turned to her computer to begin work. Tony knew something was up immediately and crossed the distance between his desk and hers in a flash.
"Cold?" He asked with a knowing grin.
"Yes, very cold this morning." She agreed, eying him warily.
"It's nice and warm in here. You should take off your coat."
"Actually, I am still a little chilly."
"Oh, please Ziva. It's not that cold. What you got under that coat?"
"Oh Really?" He answered with a hopeful and suggestive grin. She rolled her eyes at him.
"No, not really. Of course I have something on under this."
"So why are you hiding it?"
"It is just that I was not planning on ever wearing what I have on underneath in public, but with all of the cases we have stacking up lately, I have not had any time to do laundry and this is all I had to wear that was clean."
"What is it?"
"If you must know, it is a sweater my grandmother bought me for Hanukkah a few years ago."
"Let's see it." He demanded, his curiosity winning over his better judgment when it came to the Mossad operative.
"No." She returned flatly.
"You're just going to get hot in that coat."
"I have trained in the desert many times; I can handle the heat."
"It can't be that bad. It's just a sweater."
"Yes....yes it can."
"If it's that horrible, why do you keep it?"
"Because..." She sighed. "It is the last gift I ever received from her." She looked a little sad at the memory. "And tossing it out would be out of the question. However hideous it is. Besides, my father expects me to wear it whenever I come home for a visit."
"Oh, C'mon, just take it off." He tried to persuade her. "I won't make fun of you- I promise." He assured her, marking an "x" over his chest.
"What are you doing?" She asked, not recognizing the gesture. "praying?"
"No, silly." He sighed, repeating the gesture as he tried to explain it to her in a sing-song voice. "Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye...." He gave up with a dismissive wave of his hand seeing that she was not comprehending him. "C'mon....The Ziva I know would never be scared of anything as trivial as her wardrobe. Besides, no one here would be stupid enough to make fun of you."
"Except for you, Tony." She pointed out, narrowing her eyes at him. He only shrugged.
He was right, she said to herself. She was a trained killer and a soldier. How could she be afraid of being seen in a silly sweater? Finally, he convinced her that she was just being silly and there was nothing to fear. After all, the sweater wasn't that bad, was it .....?
"Fine" She relented as she unzipped and took off her coat. Tony couldn't help the snort that escaped his lips the moment she revealed the garment underneath. The brown, yellow and orange striped sweater was quite possibly the worst thing he had ever seen on Ziva, but she could run around in a paper bag for all he cared and she would still look good. However, it was a test of all of his resolve not to mock her, for it truly was one of the ugliest sweaters he had even laid eyes on. He did his best to curb the zingers he wanted to hurl in her direction and had one sitting just on the tip of his tongue, ready to be blurted out, but Abby chose that moment to come bouncing into the bullpen, stopping short when she caught sight of Ziva.
"Whoa, Ziva. That's got to be the coolest sweater I think I have ever seen you in." Abby greeted her.
"Thank-you, Abby." Ziva smiled to the goth scientist as she turned to her computer to work. Ziva didn't see Abby face Tony and scrunch up her nose in silent commentary to her opinion on the sweater and contradicting everything she just said to the assassin.
From then on, Ziva wore the sweater on occasion to work, thinking that at least one person liked it when in truth, no one had the audacity nor the death wish to let her know that they all hated it.
4. They fall victim to stupid internet pranks
If there wasn't a case, her reports were all written, files squared away and everything that was needed to be accomplished for the day was completed, Ziva often found reading the online Hebrew newspaper from home to be a nice way to fill in those last ten to fifteen minutes before it was time to go home.
One particular evening, Ziva had finished read through several articles on the conflict in Gaza when a banner ad caught her attention. Normally she ignored these ads, finding them a complete waste of time, but this one was different. She glanced from side to side to make sure no one could see what she was doing because if anyone saw what she was looking at, it would be quite embarrassing and impossible to live down.
Seeing that Gibbs was out of sight, Tony was practically asleep at his computer and McGee was completely wrapped up with his own typing, she believed the coast to be clear.
So she clicked on the ad.
**NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP**
**NEVER GONNA LET YOU DOWN**
**NEVER GONNA RUN AROUND AND DESERT YOU**
Music blasted from her computer's speakers as a skinny, red-haired man lip synced and danced lamely between two permed-out blonds wearing 80's attire and sunglasses on her computer screen.
**NEVER GONNA MAKE YOU CRY**
**NEVER GONNA SAY GOODBYE**
"What the....." Ziva exclaimed in shock, trying to shut down the window, but was too flustered to hit the right buttons before half of the office was looking in her direction. She mashed several keys on her keyboard, but still could not get the offensive music to stop.
"Ack!!!" She called out "McGee! Help!"
**NEVER GONNA TELL A LIE**
**AND HURT YOU**
McGee rushed over and came to Ziva's rescue, shutting the window down and cutting the music off abruptly with a few swift and expert keystrokes. By the time it was all over, her face was three shades redder than normal and seeing Tony laying with his head down on his desk, shoulders shaking in laughter, did little to alleviate her embarrassment.
"What was that?" She asked McGee. "Who was that man singing? He looked like Jimmy Palmer, but his voice was much too low to be his....." McGee was laughing now "What?" She asked.
"Oh, Ziva....You've just been 'Rickrolled'."
"What is this- 'Rickroll'?"
"That's Rick Astley, He's a pop singer from the eighties. It's a joke. You know....an internet meme?"
"I have no idea what a 'meme' is or what you are talking about. How is this supposed to be funny?"
"Uh...I don't know. It just is, I guess."
"So how do I keep it from happening again?" She asked him.
"Well, you could start by making sure your stereo speakers are turned down." McGee smiled mischievously, looking at the website that she had been visiting before all the music started. "And you should also avoid clicking on banner ads that say 'Find out who your ideal man is here'."
5. Telemarketers call them at the worst times
"So where are you off to tonight?" Tony asked as they both powered down their computers, ready for a weekend away from the office.
"Home and to bed." was all she offered.
"Alone?" He asked with a smirk, attempting to bait her into revealing intimate details of her life, as if she had any.
"None of your business." She answered coyly. Two could play this game. "How about you? Big date planned?"
"Actually I did, but she had to cancel. Turned out she had a flight to Denver she needed to cover."
"Another stewardess, Tony? Does that old cliché never get old?"
"No way. Gotta love those giant bow-ties they make them wear. So masculine, yet so feminine all at the same time."
Ziva rolled her eyes and snorted.
"Well, if you're not doing anything, how about pizza and a movie? We could watch whatever you want." He suggested.
"Whatever I want?" She asked with a sly grin.
"Okay. You bring the pizza and I shall pick the movie out." She agreed.
"Deal. I'll be there in an hour."
"An hour it is."
Exactly one hour later, Tony showed up at Ziva's door with a pizza box in one hand and a six pack of German beer in the other.
"Right on time, Tony. Must be some kind of record." She stated with mock surprise, ribbing him for his usual tardiness.
"I never dawdle when it comes to either pizza or movies." he quipped as he stepped into her place. He set the pizza box down on her coffee table and handed the beers off to Ziva. She took one out and handed it to Tony and grabbed one for herself as well before walking back to the kitchen and placing the pack into her refrigerator.
"So, what movie are we watching?" he called from the living room before he stuffed a slice of pizza into his mouth.
Ziva walked back to the couch and sat next to Tony handing him the DVD box for her answer.
"Fight Club? Ziva....I think I might kiss you. I love this movie." He beamed at her and she she grinned back, doing her best to suppress the feeling that if he did kiss her, she wouldn't mind. How he could get so hot and bothered over a movie was beyond her, but she enjoyed seeing his enthusiasm; it was catching.
"Let me go stick it in." He laughed as he got up for the DVD player. "Ha! Get it? I said stick it..."
"Yes, Tony. I got it. Very funny." She cut him off sarcastically and rolled her eyes, outwardly displaying her disgust at his bad joke, but on the inside secretly enjoying his puerile sense of humor and attitude. She opened a beer and took as few sips as Tony got the movie started.
Once he finally got to the start menu and began the show he bounded back over to the couch to sit next to Ziva, flopping down so hard on the cusion next to her that it caused Ziva to spill beer all over her shirt and pants.
"Damn! Tony!" She exclaimed in irritation.
"Yikes! Sorry Ziva." He repented. "Let me get you a towel." He got up quickly and trotted down her hall to the bathroom and emerging seconds later with a hand towel. She met him half way, running into him. He grabbed her arms to keep her from stumbling as they collided.
With his face hovering mere inches from her own she caught a sparkle in his eyes and her breath hitched up. She suddenly found herself dangling from that dangerous precipice that skirted the lines between better judgment and totally giving into her wildest desires, damning the consequences.
His hand still gripping her upper arms, he too seemed frozen in his spot, unsure of how to proceed. Should they just brush it off and pretend that he wasn't tilting his head just now and inching towards her lips? Surely she should pull back now or slap him or totally forget about all of that and just kiss him already.
She could feel his hot breath coming closer and closer to hers in such slow motion that she was nearly shaking in anticipation, wishing she could just grab him and ravage his....
Ziva suddenly snapped her head up and away from from Tony's, startled by the sound of the phone. What was she just about to do?
"I should get that." She said quickly, jerking her thumb behind towards the ringing phone. Reason returned to her senses much the same way a satellite returns to Earth: in a fiery crash. She backed away, breaking eye-contact with Tony and leaving him standing in the hallway with the towel in his hand. She jogged to the phone, not even bothering to check the caller ID as she picked it up.
"Hello?" She answered, watching Tony as he finally moved and walked back to the couch with a sigh.
"Hello, may I please speak with Ms. Zai-va David?" She knew immediately that it was a telemarketer by the way he butchered her name. She closed her eyes and growled in frustration.
"No, you may not. Perhaps I can call you back at time that is more convenient for me, such as when you are at home and trying to have a relaxing evening, yes?" With that she hung up the phone with a slam before hearing a reply.
An awkward silence stretched out and descended upon Ziva and Tony, the only noise in the room coming from the opening credits of the movie.
Finally it was Tony that breached the divide, extending a way out of the uncomfortableness between them with his usual style: humor and avoidance.
"Still need a towel?" He tossed it teasingly in her direction and she caught it in the air.
"Actually, I should just change my shirt. I smell like beer now, no thanks to you."
"Good idea... Need help?" He offered with a suggestive smirk to the side of his face.
"No. I think I can handle that by myself." She chuckled in response, the tension that had built up in the room dissipating as they relaxed back into some semblance or normalcy.
"Just an offer." He grinned that smile again that told her that whatever moment they shared a minute ago wasn't forgotten, but wouldn't be acted upon either. They would press on as usual, and try to put that almost kiss behind them. At least for now, they'd keep playing their parts as the two friends and co-workers just enjoying a pizza and movie together and nothing more.
Hope you liked it. Feel free to leave some feedback. Good or bad, I love hearing from ya! :) P.S. I apologize for any Rick Astley song running through your head right now.